ST. LOUIS (KMOV) -- Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill was trying to take advantage of Congressman Todd Akin’s remarks on rape and pregnancy as she continued the campaign trail Monday.
McCaskill on Monday morning taped an interview with CBS News in St Louis. She then went to Festus to meet veterans at the VFW hall, where she expressed sympathy after hearing Akin is being threatened by GOP leadership to withdraw from the race.
“I’ve been told he’s been called and threatened by Karl Rove, threatened by the head of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, they’re saying it’s this or else,” said McCaskill.
News 4 asked McCaskill if she had sympathy for Akin.
“I do,” she said.
Yet for all her sympathy, McCaskill is expecting a big boost not only in the polls, but also from contributors.
Earlier in the day, McCaskill reacted harshly to Akin’s comments when talking in News 4’s downtown studio.
“I think when you start trying to split hairs around the subject of rape, it’s offensive to women and it shows a blatant lack of understanding about the nature of the crime,” she said.
Pressure on Akin has been mounting all day on the “blogosphere,” with conservative voices calling for the congressman to step down. But Akin is refusing.
While McCaskill seems pleased to still have the opponent her campaign has wanted from the start, she refused to say her being re-elected is a sure thing.
“I do not feel he handed me the election, I’ve got a lot to prove to Missourians about my independence, my moderation and whether I’m on their side,” she said.
Akin’s spokesperson on Monday didn’t want to offer any comment about the reported pressure Akin is feeling from his own party.
The Secretary of State has a Tuesday deadline for candidates to withdraw.